Saturday, June 30, 2012

Re-Upholster with Paint

Did that title really say....Re-Upholster with paint?  

Yes it did!  

If you don't like to re-upholster, don't have the time or patience (I was dreading the tacks on this one), don't think you have the talent to tackle it and don't like or know how to sew, I have an answer for changing the chair you love and hate the fabric.

Paint it...the fabric that is!
 Now I have to tell you, I tried this back in 1997 (I looked for the photo to scan in and couldn't find it).  I didn't work very well.  It was hard and crusty.  Not very inviting to sit in.  So I slip covered it and then it eventually made it's way to the trash.

Earlier this week, Debi Beard (another CeCe Caldwell's Retailer) posted a video on painting a sofa with CeCe's Paint. Make sure you check it out.  It is BEAUTIFUL.  At first I was skeptical, but after watching the video, I was HIGHLY inspired!  

So off to the garage I went to start working on a chair that I have literally had in my garage for over a year.  Originally, I was going to recover it, but like I said before, I was dreading pulling all those tacks.  Then I thought I would slip cover it.  However, I haven't even had time to look at my sewing machine, much less use it.  So it sat...and sat!  Until I decided I would paint it.  I finished it in 2 afternoons and evenings.
Here is the chair in it's original state.  I loved the lines of the chair and KNEW it had potential, but lets be honest...that has got to be the U-G-L-I-E-S-T fabric ever! 
ESPECIALLY with this chair.  WHAT were they thinking?  

I knew I needed to use a dark colored paint to go over the dark plaid.  
 I decided on CeCe Caldwell's Hershey Brown. 
 It took 3 good coats and a half a quart of paint.  
Once that dried...which by the way, really didn't take that long.  I did have a fan going in the garage since it was 103 degrees outside.  
That may have helped speed up the drying process.

I painted the arms and legs in CeCe Caldwell's Sante Fe Turquoise...2 coats.
And then began stenciling the all over pattern with the same color.
 Once I was done with the stenciling, I covered everything...arms, legs and fabric with a coat of clear wax.  I used the CeCe Caldwell's Dark Aging Wax on the arms and legs and lightly distressed.  Once that was complete, I coated all the fabric with CeCe Caldwell's Satin Finish.  For more info on Satin Finish, Click Here
Once the Satin Finish was dry, the brown almost took on the look of leather!  I was so excited at how this chair turned out.  Much better than I could have EVER imagined, especially painting fabric.  The best part of all of this....the chair is COMPLETELY kid friendly and pet friendly.  Makes me want to Satin Finish all my furniture, but I won't!
It's recommended that the Satin Finish cure for 30 days before subjecting it REAL wear and tear, but I had to try it out. So I poured some water on the seat!  It beaded up and wiped right off.  It can't get ANY better than that!

To recap:
And the finished chair...
It's even Aurora approved!  And those tacks I was dreading...ended up being the best part!  I love the way to antiqued brass looks with the brown and turquoise!

I will point out...this process DOES NOT work with laytex paint...that is what I used in 1997.  I would NEVER had even entertained the thought of painting fabric if Debi Beard had not inspired me to do this!  However, I will DEFINITELY be doing this again in the future!  I like to re-upholster, but sometime you just don't want to take the time!  This is a great alternative that looks FABULOUS with the use of CeCe's paint!

Update:  Please note I don't think this process would work well with any sort of "fuzzy" fabric, like velour, chenille, velvet, etc.  But who might, I just haven't tried it. This chair was cotton fabric.

Happy Painting,
The DIY Dreamer


  1. That is beyond awesome! I have a chair that needs attention.

    Hope you don't mind if I Pin this?

    1. Hi Maureen! Thanks for stopping by! Pin away! thanks for sharing! Have a great week!

  2. GORGEOUS MAKEOVER. I would never have thought of this. Gotta try it now.
    Im your newest follower.

    1. Candy, thank you, thank you! Have was a lot of fun seeing the "ugly" go away. Thanks for following!

  3. This is amazing! First I love brown and blue anything and it looks like leather. Do you think this paint would work on peeling and distressed vinyl chair? I would love to know. Pinning this for future reference. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Joselyn! Thanks you so much! I will have to jump over and check out "The DIY Spot". I have not tried it on vinyl yet. Not sure how it would stick? I would recommend priming the vinyl with a glossy surface primer like Zinsser 123 and then you could definitely paint it with the CeCe Paint. Just know the texture of the cracks and peels in the vinyl will still be there. Then proceed with the rest of the steps. On the vinyl, I would skip the waxing step and just go straight to the satin finish. If you decide to to this, please post to our Facebook page! Would love to see the results.

  4. You did a WONDERFUL job Kellie!!! I would gladly display your chair at my place!! :)

    You are planning on sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality.. right? :)

    1. Thanks so much Christine! Shared at the DIY Dreamer. Thanks for letting me know! New follower!

    2. Thanks for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! I can't wait to see what you link up this evening! :)

  5. This is too cool! What a transformation. You have just about conviced me to give it a try~ Thanks! ~Kristie

    1. Kristie,

      Thanks so much! If you do...please post pics to our FB page!

  6. WOW.. The chair looks amazing! You did a really good job on it.. I would love to have you guest post on my blog.. Can you send me your email address so that we can talk about it.. I am so excited to see your project. :)
    Have a nice day!

    1. Thank you for your kind comments! I haven't forgotten about you, just got really busy. I will touch base a bit later this week!

  7. What a transformation! I had no idea you could do something like this with paint!

    I would love it if you would share this at my new Smart Solutions linky party. You can link up here:

    Have a great day!

    1. Sorry I am just now getting back to you. I will check out your blog and hopefully share...if I haven't missed it! Thanks for your kind comments and stopping by!

  8. It will be interesting to see how this wears, and what points you may need to touch it up. Or is it more of an accent chair rather than one you would use everyday?

    I do know of chairs covered in gesso, the paint like material that is used to cover artist's canvases to fill the weave. I don't know how they have worn, but with plain white gesso, it would be easy to keep touching up.

    Keep us informed on this one please.

    1. Hi Suella,

      Thanks for stopping by. At this point, to my knowledge it shouldn't need to be touched up. The paint is all natural so it actually soaks into the fabric vs. sitting on top of the fabric like an acrylic or latex would. I then waxed the fabric with an all natural wax (CeCe's as well) which acts as a sealer. Then followed with the Satin Finish, again all natural and water based. It did seal the fabric and provide a water repellant surface. As of right now the fabric is very pliable and soft. It was meant to be used, not just an accent piece. I will try to post an update later as to how it is wearing. I have never tried gesso on a fabric item that I would be sitting on? I would agree..that would be easy to touch up. Thanks again!

  9. Thanks for sharing your success story. I have been wanting to try this and was searching for tips on how to achieve the best results. You have inspired me to get on it.

  10. What an amazing transformation. I love it! Thank you so much for sharing. Patti


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